I got TRON’d: The TRX Fiasco

TRX & Investors

I don’t normally get this upset. The last time I was this upset, was with FINOM (which I still don’t have my tokens for and may never, and no help from their support or the creator).  I’ve also reached out to the TRON Team and it doesn’t look like there will be a response.

TRX is moving, to Binance.  On April 15th they made an announcement that they would be moving to their own blockchain. They told their Tron investors to move their now useless tokens to Binance, or risk losing their investment.

Migration will occur on June 21st-June 25th.

“you must deposit your TRX to an exchange before June 24, 2018 to avoid any losses”.

This is a quote I pulled from  tron.network and it’s not on the homepage, you have to click on TRX to learn this.

That is extremely dire and stressful when you’ve come upon this after the fact.  I was frustrated to see this, and I’m not alone. There is apparently a lot of frustrated investors venting at Justin Sun on Social Media that demonstrated a lack of respect and care for us investors.  The announcement back in April made no mention of the exact process or even which Exchanges would support this process. To add insult to injury they are causing a direct loss since we all have to pay fees to the Ethereum Network and Exchanger to get our real TRX and if you have get a TRX wallet, pay to take TRX out again.  Whether you have 1 TRX or 120,000 it is yours and they should be protecting your investment and you as an investor and they’ve clearly failed.

I suspect it is completely intentional as this will free up a huge amount of supply once they say “sorry you weren’t watching our social profiles 24/7 your TRX tokens are worthless it’s your fault” which is essentially the response of TRON shills at the moment or that “Binance is EOY”.  EOY (End of Year) is still not a lot of time, but the ‘kind shill’ who told me didn’t point me to where he found this information- just randomly saying that Binance announced it. Oh, so another place I have to go find information from just to figure out how to protect my TRX investment.

Then more assuringly they say “If your TRX is held in a wallet and you were not aware of the migration notice, or saw the migration notice after June 25th, please visit our permanent token-exchange counter to exchange your tokens for Mainnet TRX.

Great!. Where is the permanent exchange counter?  There is no link or information readily available.  I’m sure some shill will point out it is probably buried in some other URL but non-shills or 24/7 supporters like me, shouldn’t have to go through all of this.

Tron-TRX-Scam-Screenshot at 2018-07-09 10-33-34

The Shills & Supporters of Tron
When you go on social media to find information directly and vent your frustrations with the lack of care Tron team put into securing investors money, you’re automatically hammered by shills who think that Tron is God and they did no wrong.

Unsurprisingly, me and others who complained were berated:

Tron-Reddit-Shill

I don’t think they got the point that “normal” users and investors shouldn’t need to watch all of Tron’s myriad of social accounts and websites constantly to avoid a loss. Tron isn’t the only coin I have invested tons into, and cryptocurrencies aren’t my only investments. I shouldn’t have to worry that if I don’t pay attention for a couple of months, my investment might disappear because Justin Sun struck up a pump deal with Binance.

The shills and supporters completely devoid Tron of any wrong, and insist Justin Sun did what was mutually right for Tron and for Investors…How? By screwing investors, that’s how. By forcing us to move to Binance and lose money in doing so, where the potential for scams, fraud and hacks to happen, increase.  All the while Justin Sun’s team could have made a registered account system with the millions of ICO money he collected by Investors. The registered account process would have eliminated any risk of fraud, money spent, and saved time for both TRON and Investors. On top of this, there would be NO potential risk of losing your Tron Token.

The Tron dogs focus only on the sole responsibility of the investor to be watching all of Justin Sun’s and Tron’s multiple social media platforms and websites, instead of calling out Tron’s incompetence and lack of respect for the Investors. It’s this general acceptance of ‘disrespect’ is why cryptocurrency teams do not feel responsible to do the right thing for the Investors, but for themselves.

Conflicting And Incomplete Information
Every one of Tron’s sites has conflicting or incomplete information.  We shouldn’t have to go digging to learn that Binance supposedly honors this until the end of the year (2018, which I learned from a Reddit user, he couldn’t point me to where he got that information from though).

I think common sense says the communication was horrible on this one and they’ve made it a lot more stressful and difficult than it had to be.  This shakes investors like me very quickly since there are so many scams even with ‘good ICO projects’.  It doesn’t matter if it’s “Justin Sun” behind the project, in fact it makes it worse.  How is he managing any of this if this is the best he can do?

The Tron supporters who ignore these glaring responsibilities that Tron has to its Investors, reminds me of Bitconnect. Many people called it out for what it was, a scam and pyramid scheme, but Bitconnect shills and supporters ruthlessly defended it as a trustworthy project.  Bitconnect, unpredictably came to an end.  It was a coin that produced nothing and who’s sole value was derived from shills who pumped and dumped it as part of the pyramid scheme/scam. Making millions and screwing real investors in the process.

The shills would have you think something is wrong with you for being upset or out of the loop for a few months but clearly there has been nothing but confusion and frustration since the start of the very unclear path forward:

Justin Sun Announces Tron Migration, Confusion Reigns

https://medium.com/tron-foundation/trx-migration-notice-34de281ebbbd

I’m not saying TRX or TRON is a complete scam but it operates in a very shady way in my opinion.  I’ve taken a blasting by their supporters (AKA shills who find it unreasonable that I am not on multiple social platforms every day glued to see if I can potentially lose my investment).  That’s ridiculous and I don’t think anyone should accept this.

On top of this, I and many Investors do not like keeping things on Exchanges where hacks are often. If you have never lost from a hack, then you don’t know what it feels like, so I’d like for you to sit back down. But Luckily there is a TRX wallet at least to move your real TRX to once you have moved it to Binance.

So Why Did Tron Do This?
Here’s what happened.  In April the Tron Team announced the move to MAINNET or essentially their own cryptocurrency blockchain separate from Ethereum tokens (the worthless ones they gave us in place of the real TRX).  I think it’s wrong to do it this way, since their website has a dire prediction that if you don’t move your tokens to an exchange like Binance, then you’ll lose your investment because they are literally burning and killing the Ethereum tokens they sold you.  What if you don’t have Binance or can’t get on? They didn’t take that into consideration or care.

This is completely wrong!

The Way It Should Have Been Done?
They should have registered all of their investors and token holders in their own system and simply e-mailed everyone or based it on the Ethereum blockchain token holders.

It’s like the bank telling you they closed your account, now you have to exchange all your money for real money at a cost to you, and you should have known because you should have been following their multiple social profiles and websites, all with differing and conflicting information.

Yes, Tron’s literally telling Investors ‘ you should have been able to piece it altogether after some detective work because we struck a deal with Binance and couldn’t be bothered to make a registration system, which would have been at no cost to you and at no risk to you….And yes Tron supporters are literally saying this with gusto, even hashtagging Justin Sun to garner attention for their undying and blind support.

The Good News Though?
It looks like you have until the end of the year with Binance to do this, but as mentioned their site says if you didn’t do it in June you’re done for. So if you haven’t done it already, do it now. Since I don’t like keeping stuff on Exchanges, I’ll be moving it into a wallet quickly.

It’s really simple, all TRON had to do was create a unified system that would just directly e-mail their users this information.  They surely collected enough of our coins to the tune of millions to have the resources to make that system. Besides that, I think a few months is completely inadequate notification. What if someone went overseas or on vacation?  I imagine there will be some in this category who come back in 2019 and ask how their TRON tokens disappeared and they didn’t get their TRX.

I think it could be argued it was ill-thought, ill-mannered and essentially negligent to force users to move their tokens with such short notice.  If they were going to do it this way, they at least should given an unlimited amount of time to exchange the worthless Ethereum tokens to the real TRX.

Justin Sun
This move is a a huge security issue.  How on earth do they go and ask people to move their tokens to an exchange where they could be hacked?  How about all of the typical phishing scams which I am sure we will see, that will be tricking people into sending their tokens and coins into the hands of hackers.  By encouraging people to only go on Social Media which is insecure and commonly hacked, it is simply inexcusable that Justin Sun’s team would do things this way.  The website doesn’t make things clear enough and it should be the main or primary source of easy to find information about these issues.

I think people look too much at “Justin Sun” is behind this and don’t actually look at how the project is being managed.  It’s definitely lost my confidence now.

I do think TRON is a good project and a good idea.  Will it last and succeed? Maybe and I hope my investment will succeed.  But it reeks of the typical issues that a lack of common sense is being used to handle the very basic aspects of this project. Not to mention of lack of respect for the Investors, and anyone who calls them out is automatically bashed, or accused of spreading FUD.

Cryptocurrency companies and teams have to start valuing the investor and do things in a simple and common sense way that protects us and makes us feel confident in our investment.  TRX has lost my trust over this and clearly a lot of others who are frustrated (at least the normal ones who don’t monitor the TRON social accounts 24/7).

The future is bleak for Tron if this kind of ‘care’ is given to investors. But I’m hopeful that this will be the last time something like this will be handled in such a poor way.

Dogecon 2018: Vancouver

Such Wow! Much Conference!

Amongst the sea of self serving blockchain conferences, and large scale multi-million dollar Internet of Things conferences and expo’s, was a refreshing Dogecon held in Vancouver that captured the heart of cryptocurrency. The meme essence came to life.

What started off as a fork of Bitcoin, and a running meme joke, became the largest most dedicated community of cryptocurrencers ever. More than Bitcoin, more than Ethereum, Dogecoin’s strong and proudly loved. It’s community strong, not just about value, but about substance. From tipping to charity, to car racing, the Dogecoin is actually the most viable coin out there. And to celebrate the ‘such wow’, Dogecon was held in Vancouver BC.

A conference where nobody talked about panic selling or the market crashing, instead dance parties, rap shows, dinner and a freaking puppy parade- that’s right, a freaking Shibu Inu parade, was held. You can only wish in your dreams that you had seen it in real life, it was just that amazing.

It wasn’t ‘tradition’, with high rolling investors in thousand dollar suits, no this conference was down to earth, honest and genuine- something you don’t see often in the superficial world of Instagram cryptocurrency.

No twitter cryptoinvestors and enthusiasts had lots of good genuine things to say. Four days of celebrations, real discussions, and Dogecoin worship took place in Vancouver British Columbia. And the reviews are in: It was awesome.
Yes Rocco, this is what it should look like.

Even the sponsors proudly stood by Dogecon with ETH Classic joining in.

Just over 200 participants attended Dogecon, and tickets were sold out by the time I posted about it- sorry about that…  It was a breath of fresh air from the stuffy blockchain conferences, it was relaxed and real, and showed what this amazing Dogecoin community is.

So if you’re looking to invest in a good coin, Dogecoin is it.

Why do I say this:
1. Dogecoin is used more frequently than even Bitcoin cash
2. 40th in Market Cap
3. Has been in use since 2010 for tipping, charities, to car racing etc etc
4. It’s the 4th most popular cryptocurrency (yes that’s right, Dogecoin is the 4th)
5. More viable since the community even after the Creator abandoned it, kept it up.
6. Unapologetically a joke currency that became seriously serious.
7. Doesn’t fall under SEC regulations as a original coin
8. Faster and cheaper to use
9. Dogecon!!!
10. It’s a freaking Shibu Inu, who doesn’t like dogs!
11. It’s not all about ‘Bitcoin level value, or pumping and dumping’, its about the coin itself.

Such wisdom! So get yourself some Dogecoin, and bow to Lord Doge.

It’s safe to say that Dogecon 2019 is going to be even larger and better! What do you think of Dogecoin? Is it still a joke coin to you or are you showing some Doge love! I personally mined and owned Dogecoin, and I’ve easily used it, and it’s honestly one of my top 5 favorite coins. If I had to pick something to invest in, I’d skip the ICO’s and Ethereum tokens, and go straight to Dogecoin.

Cheers!
A. Yasir

Does the CIA know Or Not?

Who Is “Satoshi Nakamoto”

A video titled, CIA Project Bitcoin: Is Bitcoin a CIA or NSA project? made by a group calling themselves the “CIA Project” surfaced on youtube. This group is dedicated in finding all the governments secret projects and making it public. And in this latest video, they are claiming that Bitcoin is actually the creation of the US National Security Agency (NSA).

Now don’t scoff it off as a conspiracy theory or ‘FUD’ and run away. Lets have a gander at what this group is claiming to be their biggest proof.

Satoshi Nakamoto- the name itself.

Now I do touch on this subject a little in my post here, so have a read of that as well to put some other very important pieces of this together.

Satoshi (meaning ‘clear thinking, or intelligent). Nakamoto is a common Japanese surname meaning “central origin or one who lives in the middle) This surname is commonly found in Ryukyu Islands of Japan, which is strongly associated with the Ryukyu Kingdon, a highly centralized kindgom that originated in the Okinawa Islands.  This Island in particular was known as the ‘the place where cannibals lived’….not sure if this gives any weight to Warren Buffets fantastic quote, where he equates Bitcoin mining to harvesting baby brains…

Combined, both names could be interpreted as “Central Intelligence”- could be, loosely. There is in fact a real Satoshi Nakamoto (well Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto) but he vehemently denies he’s the Bitcoin creator and even hired a lawyer to clear his name. How badly do people want to know who this guy is?

The next claim is that no one has actually met Satoshi Nakamoto in person or spoken on the phone with him or her or even them.  Even Gavin Bell (known as Gavin Andresen), who only has contact by email, never in person or over the phone.

Other evidence includes the fact that Bitcoin uses a common PRNG (crypto program) to create secure keys, which is itself believed to have an NSA backdoor. Numerous Reddit threads linking Bitcoin or Satoshi Nakamoto with the NSA have been removed; and that Bitcoin is not decentralized as it is being controlled by a small group which is led by Gavin Bell. Which is true, I’ve said it before that cryptocurrencies are not decentralized in the sense people assume, there is a central body controlling it, and right now with Bitcoin it’s the 80% hashing power Chinese mining farms and Gavin Bell.

But do the CIA Project’s claims have any merit? I think there is- even just a little, is still too much.

The NSA creating Bitcoin has been rumor for many years. People have questioned why it uses the SHA-256 hash function- which by the way we designed by the NSA and published by the National Institute for Standards and Technology..

The fact that the NSA is tied to SHA-256 leads some to assume it’s created a backdoor to the hash function that no one has ever identified, which allows it to spy on Bitcoin users.

“If you assume that the NSA did something to SHA-256, which no outside researcher has detected, what you get is the ability, with credible and detectable action, they would be able to forge transactions. The really scary thing is somebody finds a way to find collisions in SHA-256 really fast without brute-forcing it or using lots of hardware and then they take control of the network,” cryptography researcher Matthew D. Green of Johns Hopkins University said in a previous interview.

This alone makes it worrisome for Bitcoin users or Cyber security specialists. Snowden is very harsh on Bitcoin and says it’s being watched by government agencies- more on that in a different post.

And of course this comes just at the heels after the CIA refused to confirm or deny if they knew who Satoshi Nakamoto is- leaving many to speculate, if they know.  And like Snowden says, ‘they know’.

I myself didn’t want anything to do with Bitcoin in 2009 when my wife told me about it- because of the sheer nightmare that is security and fraud. (Of course I’m glad I reconsidered it and mined as much as I could back then), but it did have the distinct smell of ‘government’ even back then.

Then there’s recent news of 21e8….that’s for another post.

What do you think? Does this prove that Satoshi Nakamoto is actually the NSA? Or does it simply just add another layer of conspiracy theories to an already large mystery.

We may never know.

Cheers,
A.Yasir

John McAfee’s Not Dead

He’s Alive & McAfee’ing It

The crypto internet was a buzz these last few days after Cyber Security & crypto-expert John McAfee posted a picture of him at the hospital, after what he says was an attempted poisoning to end his life. He went on to say:

“My enemies managed to spike something that I ingested,”
“However, I am more difficult to kill than anyone can possibly imagine. I am back.”

johnmcafeescreenshot2

He’s been tweeting from the hospital, to let his fans and supporters know he’s alright and in stable condition in typical John McAfee style- strong, ‘no shit’ and in your face.

He bashed on panic sellers and continues to promote Docademic and even sent out a mini witch hunt for this guy.

johnmcafeescreenshot1

In all, John McAfee is in good spirits, back in the comfort of his home, and keeping it real for the cryptocurrency community. It’s left to see if this ‘assassination’ attempt pans out with any evidence given to the general public. But if this was indeed an assassination attempt, the implications are horrendous. It gives weight to McAfee’s position in cryptocurrency and his declaration for 2020 presidential candidate.

For now, I’m wishing Mr. McAfee a full recovery.

Cheers,
A.Yasir

Psychopath CEO’s

The Jobs Psychopaths Are In the Most

A person with a Psychopathic personality is defined as having an inflated, narcissistic sense of themselves and are very good at manipulating people. And with the world naturally turning more and more narcissistic with social media and the images of ‘your best self’ (or rather your fake self), it’s getting to be a pretty psychopathic world.

We once considered Ted Bundy and psychopath murderers and honestly world leaders as general well known psychopathy. But as it turns out, the world is filled with psychopaths, and you might just be working next to one. And most surprisingly, is that CEO was ranked #1 for the most psychopaths…I’m a CEO and I’m both worried and fascinated…

So why are there so many psychopathic CEO’s? Well psychopaths tend to go for jobs or careers that put them in leadership positions because they have charisma, are good at making on the spot decisions and are fearless.  They have a goal and they can make it happen and will stop at nothing (including stomping out others) to get what they want.

Kevin Dutton, a British psychologist and writer, specialises in the study of psychopathy, made a list of the types of jobs that attract the MOST PSYCHOPATHS.  In his book “The Wisdom of Psychopaths: What Saints, Spies, and Serial Killers Can Teach Us About Success.”

“Functional psychopaths,” as Dutton calls them, “use their detached, unflinching, and charismatic personalities to succeed in mainstream society.”  Basically, psychopaths are normal people but have a few traits that make them ‘different’.

10. Civil Servant:
Fun fact, in 2014, UK Government officials considered recruiting psychopaths specifically “to keep order,” because they are “very good in crises” and have “no feelings for others, nor moral code, and tend to be very intelligent and logical.”  Ouch.

9. Chef:
Should they really be in charge of our food and knives? But apparently the 9th most popular job for psychopaths is being a chef. According to Dutton, they thrive in chaos. And the chaos of the kitchen is right up their alley.

8. Clergy Person:
This may come as a surprise because we don’t normally associate such a personality type with this job. But according to FBI veteran Joe Navarro, ‘religious organisations may provide a means for people to exploit others, while also giving legitimacy to their actions.’ It’s also very easy to make alliances.

7. Police Officer:
If you thought clergy person was insane, police officer isn’t too far off.  Keeping calm during a stressful situation comes with the job as police offer. And in this dangerous and high intensity job, being able to control your emotions and think before you act comes as a huge benefit.

6. Journalist – it all makes sense now.
If you thought Elon Musk was right to call out mainstream media who then got a lashing out from media personalities, and thought to yourself, wow these media people aren’t professional at all- then you were right. They’re not professional because they are literal psychopaths. Journalism is yet another popular job for a psychopath.

5. Surgeon:
If you’re in need of a surgery, well don’t worry you’re in good hands.  It’s not what you think, again psychopaths are people who do well in keeping calm during stressful situations and can make quick difficult situations, which they have to make everyday. In this respect, be glad you’re in the caring hands of a psychopath. :)

4. Salesperson
Are you a shameless self promoter, who has no qualms of stealing other peoples work or contracts, have a intense desire to earn the most money and can’t be over shot by anyone? Are you in sales? You should be.

3. Media Person in TV or Audio
Narcissism can be a trait of a psychopath, which you can say is an important part of being a public figure. Being a TV anchor or a radio personality is the 5th job with the most psychopaths.

2. Lawyer
Somehow this doesn’t come as a surprise. You’re going to have to be a very motivated person who can manipulate the ‘truth’ and ‘facts’ to fit the narrative you need. Self confidence and deceitful charm can help create a good lawyer.

And lastly,

1. CEO
Yes, that’s right, CEO’s are the #1 job for psychopaths. I never really viewed myself as a psychopath but here’s some of the traits:
Cool headed during stressful situations.
Able to make decisions quickly during intense situations.
Being able to overcome emotions.
Able to remove emotions during situations and focus on the issue at hand.
Able to maneuver using charm and manipulation.
You get gist. But on top of this, is resilience to chaos.
Resilience to chaos is something we CEO’s have.  This doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re cool headed under stress, it can mean that you cause a lot of crazy for others too because it makes you feel good when everybody around you is struggling…OUCH that hurts my heart.
But some CEO’s use this method to climb that ladder all the way to the very top.  Now this isn’t indicative of all CEO’s, since self confidence, resilience and determined for a end goal is also high drivers of a CEO, but these are eye openers of how others might view their leader.

What do you think? Did your job make the cut? Did you find out a little about yourself? Or do you disagree with the findings?

Cheers!
– A. Yasir

 

Ripple Wants Government Regulation of Cryptocurrency

I have always believed regulation was inevitable and this is actually one of the reasons I invested in Ripple.  It’s no surprise that they are calling for regulation as they benefit the most.  As worried about them as I am (saving for another article) this is an excellent hedge against this inevitability.  Ripple stands to profit from this as it already has very good relationships with big finance and governments.  Any regulation is very likely to benefit Ripple the most.

Ripple’s, Ryan Zagone, ironically titled, “head of regulatory relations” has called on the UK to adopt 3-regulatory moves and has suggested they take a cue from Japan.  This is both good and bad, regulation, if fair and easy to follow can remove uncertainty and strengthen the countries that do it right.  I think Japan is a good example of regulation that has gone right and helped cryptocurrency flourish.

Zagone has called on the three issues to be regulated “namely consumer protection, financial stability and anti-money laundering “.  Consumer protection is a given and I wonder why no one has also said “insurance coverage” as this would take most of the risk out of holding cryptocurrency and the risk of theft and hacks.  When it comes to “financial stability” it depends on what he means and what the UK government would take it to mean?  I would take it that this would be the part that would help out Ripple and possibly stunt the growth of competitors to Ripple.  When it comes to anti-money laundering this is a given but again, how do you do it without harming or offending law abiding citizens?  Or will these laws and regulations be a pretext for both Ripple and Big Banking to squash the abilities of everyone else?

The UK Central Bank’s, Mark Carney has said the following about cryptocurrency.

  • “The time has come to hold the crypto-asset ecosystem to the same standards as the rest of the financial system. Being part of the financial system brings enormous privileges, but with them great responsibilities,” Carney said in a speech on Friday.
  • “A better path would be to regulate elements of the crypto-asset ecosystem to combat illicit activities, promote market integrity, and protect the safety and soundness of the financial system,” Carney said.
  • Carney also slammed the ability for cryptocurrencies to fulfil the role of money, saying they are “failing” as a medium of exchange and are “proving poor short-term stores of value.”
  • “This extreme volatility reflects in part that cryptocurrencies have neither intrinsic value nor any external backing. Their worth rests on beliefs regarding their future supply and demand —ultimately, whether they will be successful as money.”
  • “At present, in my view, crypto-assets do not appear to pose material risks to financial stability,” Carney said.

Well, Mr. Carney was as honest as he could be, from the banking sphere and without losing his job.  I agree that there is almost nothing backing most cryptocurrencies, aside from mining investment.  However, this is about the same, if not better than fiat which is printed without any backing of assets since the gold standard has long been abandoned.  But let’s read between the lines, he wants regulation and he wants cryptocurrency held to the same standards as traditional finance, but at the same time slams it as being a poor store of value (like Soros who now says he’s investing).  Regulation will be tricky, because you are then giving all cryptcurrency legitimacy as currency by regulating it as such or even to traditional financial standards.

Everyone has their own interest in all of this but it will be interesting to see how this plays out.  The game is different now and governments cannot easily seize crypto assets, nor can they shutdown major players who can move away from their jurisdiction with the click of a button.  If smart people are in charge of regulation they will do it right, but if bankers alone are involved, and continued to feel threatened, I predict carnage, and that it will ultimately harm or even topple our current financial system.

Let’s hope things go smooth and that regulators are not influenced too much more when it comes down to it.

 

Ripple’s First Central Bank Contract with Saudi Arabia!

This is huge news for Ripple but apparently at the time of writing Ripple has tumbled more than 5% to .957 USD (under a dollar now).  To be honest I do hold Ripple but I believe my analysis to be unbiased.

The news is huge that Ripple will help Saudi Arabia settle foreign currency transactions and shows Ripple has proven itself in the large scale banking and even central banking industry.  It looks like other gulf countries including the UAE (United Arab Emirates) are going to be involved as well which could be really huge for Ripple.  One thing that many have said though is that none of these banking organizations involved are really interested in XRP.  They are using Ripple’s network but these transactions are not being funded or traded in XRP itself.

Some industry analysts have speculated that Ripple’s relationship with big banks is so strong that it may have strong incentive in the future to literally kill/dissolve XRP.

Despite this my outlook on Ripple is strong with the reservations about it mainly being a tool for large banks.  Don’t get me wrong, the technology works well for transactions in terms of being low-fee, fast not having to sync the blockchain, very secure (aside from no first party wallets….) but can we trust this company to protect our interests and those of its large banking clients?

I think this is why Ripple has been volatile itself, from an investment standpoint it sounds great but also bad because Ripple is kind of a crypto-rebel by essentially being the tool that cryptocurrency was meant to fight or free us from (the tool of big banks and now Saudi Arabia’s central bank.).

To look at it from the other perspective though this could mean a huge rise for Ripple in valuation but it could also mean the opposite.  Ripple has carved out an incredible niche but at the same time risks alienating its main users and investors.  The question is what will Ripple as a private and centralized blockchain do?

I do agree the author of the quoted article above could very well have it right for the end game.   It’s a shame because Ripple solves a number of key issues while also introducing security and trust issues at the same time.  Ripple works well but will it literally sell us users and investors out to central banks in the future?

I’ve attempted to play the lotto and will seek Ripple’s comment on these concerns but regardless of assurances only time will tell where things head.

How Governments Should Handle Crypto and ICOs

First of all after seeing so much confusion, panic and misinformation in the news, it is about time each country made a dedicated website for cryptocurrency.  The winners will be the countries who clearly communicate their policy, laws and intentions on handling cryptocurrencies.

Now in all fairness things are moving so fast, governments have genuine reason to fear cryptocurrency (aside from illegitimate reasons…) with most ICOs being absolute scams.  The real reason is of course is that governments can no longer vote or control who can fund themselves, the internet and public will judge.  However, there are still good reasons to have regulation or at least accountability so ICO fraudsters cannot hide overseas and disappear with the coins they collect.  This is my position where I feel the majority of token ICOs have no intention of completing their projects.

Getting back to what government should do, it’s not only ICOs but also the laws surrounding the purchase, use and trade around cryptocurrency.

The first country(s) to make fair, easy and favorable laws surrounding ICOs and cryptocurrency may find itself literally walking into digital gold and could be the next Hong Kong or Singapore of the crypto-finance world.  It’s up for grabs until countries clarify and cement their policies with crypto.

The first step if I were a regulator would be to hold public consultation and establish a staterun/government website domain to encourage discussion.  I also imagine it will be a hard case for government going after their citizens or businesses because they could simply leave the country with their crypto.  I think this is one element that business and government doesn’t like, that they can no longer control what people do with their money.  Typically governments and banks work hand in hand to achieve specific goals but with cryptocurrency, much like the world-wide web (initially) they are trying to find a balance and also ways to reign in control.

This time is very different, there is a lot at stake for governments, banks, people and business.  If a government moves too aggressively against the crypto world it could find itself sidelined and in financial ruin while their citizens and businesses will flock to countries that treat them better.

One of the first known examples of staterun conspiracy to harm cryptocurrency is Poland’s recent Youtube campaign: https://cryptoslate.com/polish-central-bank-caught-funding-anti-cryptocurrency-youtube-campaign/. They can’t be the only one and we know because of the well-timed press-conferences from various countries that threaten to ban ICOs or the currency outright.  On that note, as an investor this gives me more confidence than ever.  If crypto isn’t a big thing, then governments wouldn’t be talking about it.  The fact they warn so much about crypto suggests that governments and banks are well aware it is here to stay.

It could be that some governments are just playing games and waiting to see how things play out.  Perhaps internally if they see their attacks on crypto don’t kill it then they’ve already accepted that they will stop the fight against crypto.  Personally I think they are well aware that they cannot stop it and are maybe buying time so they can launch their own like Japan, Russia and China have announced.

I don’t think there’s a direct comparison but this standoff reminds me of the anti-piracy fight.  It used to be a fringe and underground element, but with crackdowns it actually has become more prevalent and easy for people to engage in piracy. Don’t get me wrong, crypto is not at all illegal or wrong (as compared to piracy) but the governments are essentially treating the crypto world the same way.  Much like the rule of investment after your strategy fails, trying again “won’t be different this time” I believe.

What do you think, how can governments handle crypto better and how would you react to bans and other aggressive action against crypto and related businesses?

Petro Coin Is Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro’s Sanction Hot Cryptocurrency Backed by Gold, Oil and Diamonds

The Petro Coin is a very exciting project announced by Venezuelan President, Nicolas Maduro.  What makes this project interesting is a bunch of firsts, this coin would be the first staterun cryptocurrency and is also backed by physical assets, namely 5 Billion Barrels of Crude Oil, Gold and Diamonds.  This is a solid coin and currency in its own respect.

Back in the days when fiat currency was significant, valuable and important, there was the “gold standard” where essentially the amount of currency in circulation and value was a direct reflection of how much gold it was backed by.  If executed as promised, the Petro Coin would achieve exactly this as a first in the crypto world.

Why do I think this coin will succeed if executed and implemented as marketed and planned?

Russia, China and Iran.  2/3 (Russia and Iran) are currently sanctioned and China has been threatened with sanctions.  Since the Petro Coin was founded as a way to restore wealth, prosperity and escape the sanctions guess who, as an ally of Venezuela and also parties with a vested interest would both profit directly and indirectly from the Petro Coin’s success?  I anticipate massive amounts of money would pour in from Russia, China and Iran even if it is discreet and indirect.  If I am right I would expect that this coin could be hugely successful and a top coin.
On top of this President Maduro has recently asked allies in the region to get on board with the Petro project.

What are some downside risks?

Judging from social media some are very averse for various political reasons to this coin.  Another risk would be that this coin would almost certainly have trouble, be outright prevented, or removed from any Western based exchange.  Being listed on major exchanges is a key success because if no one can buy or trade your coin then it’s not going anywhere fast.  However, there are enough overseas exchanges to take care of this issue, and I suspect Venezuela would have enough resources to create their own exchanges to solve this issue. *Update Petro Coin’s ecosystem will apparently allow you to exchange and trade in physical assets, cash and other coins so the problem appears to be solved from the outset.  However, the boycott and difficulty in trading this coin are potential risks, especially if as I anticipate, some governments would simply just make it a crime for their citizens to hold or trade in this coin.  It would be interesting to see where this all heads.

It’s also been reported that Venezuela’s Congress (the opposition) has declared this currency and coin completely illegal.  However, it also appears that this has no legal bearing and will not prevent the project from moving ahead.

Should I invest in this coin?

I can’t answer that because only hindsight can clearly show us.  I am planning to invest in it as long as the project is executed as marketed and planned.  Politics aside I think this could be a win-win for people inside and outside of Venezuela.  If this coin helps Venezuela escape sanctions this would almost certainly lead to an improvement for the people of Venezuela since sanctions mainly end up hurting the people (especially the poor).

Early Success

Apparently Petro has raised nearly 3/4 of a billion USD in their initial private sale.  I’m again calling this as a positive sign and I highly suspect numerous state Sponsors from around the world contributed the funds even if indirectly.

In that sense Petro could be an incredibly strong and long-lasting cryptocurrency.  The funding behind it is already proof of concept.

On top of that Venezuela seems very serious about making their country a haven for all things crypto.  This coin could stabilize their economy and also make them the new “Singapore” of the cryptoworld if they continue to play this right.  Despite some negative comments and feedback, this point cannot be denied or overlooked in terms of investment.

My feedback

It’s been very difficult to find details about this coin, I’ve read various news articles and only recently found the official website.  They really need to do more marketing and make a proper URL/domain for this coin and not just a government subdomain.  I am certain fraud with this coin has already gone on with so many fake Petro sites that I’ve found which seem to be collecting coins.  They should pay particular attention to this as I imagine a lot of people will be calling Petro a scam because of these fake sites.

It also hasn’t been made clear of their plan but from my reading of the official site it appears initially Petro will be sold as an Ethereum token that will then be converted to their own blockchain and wallet once they have completed it.

Another risk is that people like me may begin to lose interest or even forget about it because I was hoping to get in on the private sale.

With that said, I’m not investing in any ICOs for the most part but Petro is one I am interested in for many reasons stated earlier in this post.

Where to find the official website

It took a lot of digging but here is the official Petro Coin website: http://elpetro.gob.ve/index-en.html

Non-Existent Service in the CryptoCurrency Business Will Have Long-Term Impact

Right now the crypto market is red hot and like any market that’s so hot, company’s at the time often forget that customer service is for the long-term and that by not treating the customer right, eventually enough will move on.  Crypto company’s won’t be feeling the pinch right now, but once a downturn hits is where we will see this play out in my opinion.

I’m speaking from my own experience, frustration and concern here.

I have dealt with many different company’s and most of them will NEVER reply to you.  Even worse most of them don’t have a simple contact form, e-mail address, phone number or built-in support system (I guess in all fairness it’s like getting help from PayPal only a bit worse).

A sampling of random experiences and exercise in patience.

Coinbase

It took a long time to get “verified” enough to even make a purchase with their high fee system but it is a quick, expensive and easy way to get into crypto once you are verified.  However one thing I was unhappy with is that you cannot purchase directly to your own personal wallet (I don’t like leaving money in exchanges because of MtGox, Bitfinex and other hacking incidents where people lost real money).  All I ever got was an apologetic generic reply and nothing more.  If you’re having serious issues it is unlikely this company will ever help you so there is the real risk of their mistake or other problems costing you time and money.


Josie replied:

Gatehub

I sent them USD in order to exchange for some Ripple but without my permission they converted it into EUR so I lost money on the conversion and wire.  The reason I sent USD is because they said it was for USD and to top it off the bank was in Lithuania (a little scary to send to an unregulated market and does set off some alarm bells and concerns).  This is typical of the crypto industry and I do think it will come back to bite and haunt them.

I did ask Gatehub to make it right but never received any response after a number of weeks.  Even to verify my account it literally took a number of months to even get a response and to complete the process.  During these bullish times anything will fly because there are only so many alternatives but all bets are certainly off after that point.

Poloniex

Poloniex is one of the biggest exchanges out there but you can find complaints all over reddit of people not being able to verify their account for months.  I uploaded my information only to be sent through a third party verification process.  This required me to use a live webcam that perfectly captured the details of my ID live (who has a webcam these days let alone one that would get the crazy macro shot they require!).  The process told me the details weren’t clear enough, even the sending a selfie with your ID method was not supported.  And if you didn’t get it right at that moment or even if you had no webcam you can’t even try to verify yourself again for several hours.  Needless to say I’ve moved on and so have many others.

Kraken

I simply won’t trust them, initially I didn’t know who they were but somehow I was signed up without my knowledge or consent.  I kept getting so much spam from them I didn’t even realize they were any sort of legitimate company.  The fact that they essentially marketed themselves through spam and forcefully signing up clients makes me not trust them at all (even less than many other firms).

Coinmama

They aren’t cheap but I will give them this, they were quick with verification and when there are issues they reply usually within a number of days with an actual human response.

What Does This Add Up to?

Customer service in the crypto world is non-existent and so is the trust factor and reliability of many of the companies involved.

A very nervous and frustrating experience even for veterans and those who understand crypto, my level of trust in these companies is quite low.   They don’t even have phone numbers or addresses for the most part and those that do you can never get to a human usually.

When things work fine you shouldn’t have a need to contact these companies, but when there are issues it is very likely you will be ignored regardless of the issue, or any reply is not helpful or may come weeks or months too late.